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Democrats spar over delaying Calif 
By earjerseyqq110 on Nov 23, 2013 06:51 AM
Democrats spar over delaying Calif

(AP) SACRAMENTO, Calif. In a direct slap to Gov. Jerry Brown, his fellow Democrats in the state Senate on Wednesday rejected his plan for dealing with California prison crisis, throwing the state response to a federal court order into chaos.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told a Capitol news conference that the proposal Brown announced a day earlier was essentially dead on arrival and that his chamber would not pass it.

"We oppose the governor plan," Steinberg said. "We think it is, as the governor himself said . It throwing money down a rat hole. Brown quickly dismissed Steinberg alternative _ seeking an extension from the court _ leaving the state with no clear path just weeks before the Legislature is scheduled to Vontae Davis Jersey adjourn for the year.

On Tuesday, Brown presented his plan for addressing a federal court order that says the state must lower its prison population by an additional 9,600 inmates by the end of the year. Judges have determined that a lower prison population is the best way to improve inmate medical and mental health care, which is at the heart of a longrunning legal battle.

The governor wants to move inmates to private prisons and vacant county jail cells at an estimated cost of $730 million over two years. The money would likely come from the state $1.1 billion reserve fund. His proposal has the support of statewide law enforcement and crime victims groups, but T.Y. Hilton Men's Jersey the spending requires legislative approval.

"My plan avoids early releases of thousands of prisoners and lays the foundation for longerterm changes, and that why local officials and law enforcement support it," Brown said in a statement.

Assembly Speaker John Perez, DLos Angeles, released a statement calling Brown plan "the right plan given our circumstances." Some of Steinberg longterm proposals already are included in the governor plan, he said.

While the Democratic Assembly speaker is on board, the Democrats who control the Senate are not. They are rejecting both the early release of inmates and spending any more money to house prisoners elsewhere.

"I know we are not going to do what was proposed yesterday," Steinberg said. "It not smart."

Instead, he wants a threeyear extension of the yearend deadline set by the federal courts.

That grace period would be designed to give local rehabilitation and drug and mental health treatment programs time to work. Steinberg said such programs, if properly implemented, will lower the crime rate and, by extension, send fewer people to prison.

He said that is part of a longterm and "durable" solution to lower the state inmate population. Supreme Court has upheld it.

Steinberg office said his plan has the support of all 27 Democrats in the Senate.

His request for a delay in the inmatereduction order is supported by the lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuits over inmate medical and mental health care.

"Senator Steinberg substantive proposals are acceptable to us and we are open to an extension of the date Coby Fleener Jersey for compliance with the three judge court order if an agreement produces an effective and sustainable approach that will resolve the chronic overcrowding problem in the state prisons," Donald Specter of the Berkeleybased Prison Law Office said in a statement.

He said the actual length of the delay will have to be negotiated.

Brown and Perez appeared to reject those negotiations:

"It would not be responsible to turn over California criminal justice policy to inmate lawyers who are not accountable to the people," the governor said.

His aides could not immediately say how the state would now resolve the impasse as time runs short.

Perez said he is "deeply skeptical" Vick Ballard Youth Jersey about giving inmates attorneys the power to help determine how many inmates the prisons can humanely hold.

The rejection of Brown plan and the emergence of an alternate one is creating great uncertainty about the status of the court order and the state ability to meet it. Lawmakers end this year session on Sept. 13, providing a narrow legislative window to craft a compromise.

Brown is appealing their latest order but is attempting to comply while that works its way through the courts.

If Brown, the state Legislature and inmates attorneys can reach agreement, the federal judges have said they will force the state to release lessserious offenders in order to reduce the prison population to about 110,000 inmates. The www.footballcoltsproshop.com court has previously said that level is necessary to improve care for sick and mentally ill inmates.

In opposing early releases, the Dwayne Allen Youth Jersey governor and others have argued that California has already reduced the prison population by some 46,000 inmates to comply with the court orders and said only the most dangerous convicts remain in state prison.

The proposal Brown released this week calls for sending some inmates to private prisons out of state and renting an entire 2,300bed private prison in Kern County from Corrections Corp. of America, staffing it with guards employed by the state. He also wants to lease excess jail cells from Alameda and Los Angeles counties.

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